What Not to Do on Social Media When Job Searching

If you are in the process of applying for your dream job, you’re probably wondering what you can do to maximize your chances of being offered the position. While you’re busy polishing your resume, cover letter, and application, take a moment to consider your social media profiles. Social media platforms have given employers a greater depth of insight into potential hires than ever before. Here are 10 things to avoid doing on social media when job searching, so you know what you need to do to make a perfect first impression.

Manage your first impression A single job advertisement can potentially attract thousands of high-quality applications. While job seekers eagerly write and proofread their application and resume, they often fail to make sure their social media presence is professional, which can hinder their career in the long term.

  1. Using an unprofessional photo
    If you’re using an image of you at a party as your profile picture, then it might be worth considering whether you should change it. Think of it this way; the first photo your potential employer sees will cement a particular image of you in their mind. If you want to appear intelligent, confident, and mature, it’s worth uploading content that reflects those qualities.
  2. Making spelling or grammatical mistakes
    Job seekers understand that it’s essential to apply for a job with a resume completely free of errors. So why is it that so many applicants are happy to have an error-ridden social media profile? Most employers confess to quickly scanning social media accounts when going through the hiring process. If they see errors, they might question your ability as well as aptitude. Do yourself a favor and proofread everything you write.
  3. Getting into fights or troll people
    While you may think it is fun to get into disagreements with friends and strangers on social media, it doesn’t make a good first impression. While you may think your behavior is hidden, you would be surprised to know how easy it is for potential employers to discover your comments. Do yourself a favor and keep any comments you wouldn’t make in an interview off your social media platform.
  4. Sharing inappropriate content
    Any form of inappropriate content, whether it relates to your work or not, marks you out as an unprofessional person who lacks good judgment. If you’re thinking of sharing something, consider whether it is appropriate for the workplace or an interview situation.
  5. Talking badly about your employer
    It doesn’t matter how poorly your employer treated you; it is never okay to talk badly or negatively about your current or former employer. A potential employer will see this as a sign you may do this to them in the future, which marks you out as a risky hire.
  6. Uploading party photos
    It’s never a good idea to upload questionable images to social media, especially when you’re in the process of a job search. While you may think your fun photos portray you well, your potential employer may have other ideas. If you must share pictures, make sure you adjust your privacy settings so only your closest friends can view them.
  7. Getting too political
    It’s probably not a good idea to get into a heated political debate on your social media account unless you plan on becoming a politician! You never really know what a potential employer thinks when it comes to politics. Instead of saying something that could put you in the company’s bad books, it’s better to keep your opinions to yourself, as you would have to do in a professional role.
  8. Discussing your problems
    Some people love sharing every single problem they have with the world, which is great in certain circumstances. However, it can backfire when you’re on a job hunt. If you are too cynical, you may come across as someone they don’t want to hire. Your potential employer might think you’re someone who would bring a lot of drama to the team, which would make you hard to manage. Do yourself a favor and discuss your problems in person with your friends.
  9. Lying or using bad language
    There’s nothing worse than a dishonest person, which is why it’s so important to make sure you aren’t unintentionally lying on your social media channels. If you’ve listed your occupation, is it an accurate reflection of your title and work and does it match your resume? In addition, you’ll need to make sure you aren’t using any profanity, which can strike you off the list of candidates very quickly. As a rule, companies want candidates who represent them well in the public eye, which means bad language should have no place on your social media profile.
  10. Leaving social media or deleting everything
    While you may think the answer is to temporarily remove your social media account or give social media a break from time to time, you’d be wrong. Social media is the perfect way to boost your application with a professional-looking quality page that genuinely reflects who you are as an intelligent individual. Removing or deleting your page can make you look suspicious. Instead of looking as though you have something to hide, keep your social media and use it to showcase your strengths.

Social media as a strategy
Instead of worrying, understand that social media can be effectively used to boost your application and increase the chances you’ll be the company’s newest hire. While you’re job hunting, ensure you act strategically. Audit and improve your online profile to showcase and enhance the skills, competencies, and experience listed in your job applications. When you actively broadcast such a great first impression, who wouldn’t want you in their company?